When removing animal proteins from your diet, there are two main things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Pair plant proteins like beans, lentils, peas and soy with a grain, nuts or seeds. When combined, these plant foods make a complete protein.
- Plant proteins should also be paired with colorful fruits and vegetables. These tend to be high in vitamin C, which helps with iron’s absorption.
Typical meals that pair plant proteins with a grain, nuts or seeds include:
- Bean burritos: Beans act as the plant protein, while whole wheat tortilla provides the grain that completes the plant protein. Red bell pepper, with its boost of vitamin C, might be the colorful vegetable that helps absorb the iron.
- Breakfast cereal with fruit: Soy milk* is the plant protein, cereal is the grain, and strawberries provide the vitamin c.
*Soy is the only milk substitute that contains a substantial amount of protein.